Our bodies are held in place by our bones and inside those bones lies our marrow. Just as the marrow is a part of us so is our sorrow, it exists deep inside us and we will never be free from our sorrow, it will remain a permanent part of us our whole life. Our sorrow is what makes us sentient and human, for if it were ever removed could we still call ourselves human. Rumi, the 13th century Persian poet understood that sorrow was a necessary part of life, not necessarily a nice part of life but it was a part of life. There can be no life without some degree of sorrow. Deeper sorrow brings deeper joy.
Without experiencing sorrow we would not know joy. The feeling and the experiencing of sorrow has probably been with us for hundreds of thousands of years. Even if we look around we see that most living things experience sorrow, I see the look on my dog's face everyday that I leave to work, he looks partially devastated although I hope he knows that I will always come back, nevertheless I can see it in his eyes. Sorrow is not dealt with in the appropriate way, it almost seems as though it is a mark of weakness in an individual, we think it is better to keep that sorrow to ourselves. The Pueblo Indians had “songs” to carry their sorrow away, perhaps they believed that it would be carried with the wind and the notes. Ancient Scandinavians “would live for a year in the ashes”, and during that time they would turn their sorrow into something of a benefit.
One of the mistakes we make in our life in this modern age is to carry sorrow in a private way. I suppose that this is a facet of our modern life. Modern life enables us to reside on our own island without a great need to rely on others.
When something happens to someone such as a death in the family, we are given a set number of days to grieve with our sorrow, then it's presumed to be over with, now we must return to ringing a register, or building that widget in the factory. We are not given the proper time to deal with sorrow and even then we tend to keep it locked up inside our box. It sits in that box like a seed and all seeds germinate and bloom. We have 3-5 days to mourn something that we may trade one of our limbs to have return.
Cory Ian Shafer